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Lesser Questions Cable, Utility Companies' Response to Irene

The state representative has called for a special legislative hearing on the impact of unregulated industries and reduced staff at CL&P in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

State Rep. Matt Lesser (D-Durham/Middlefield/Middletown) has called for a special legislative hearing on the response by Connecticut utility companies in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

“There has been a huge effort on the local level to get things cleaned up, restore services and return to normal,” said Lesser. “Many things were done right in responding to this storm. We need to sit down and assess what went well, what were the deficiencies and what can be done better for the next big storm.”

Rep. Lesser has written to the co-chairs of the Legislature’s Energy & Technology Committee calling for a public hearing to discuss the matter. The committee, which has oversight of the Department of Utility Control and utility companies, would hear testimony from electric, cable, telephone and internet providers as well as the public.

"The public is deeply concerned about the response and I am, too,” said Lesser. “We need to hear from the cable companies, the electric companies and the phone companies. What went wrong and what are we going do about it?"

The letter was sent on Tuesday. In his letter, Lesser cited specific concerns about unregulated industries like cable and a reduction in CL&P line crew numbers.

“The time has come for us get a better understanding of the response to this storm, ask critical questions of what actions were taken and why,” Lesser said.

For information on recovery efforts, see www.ct.gov/irene.

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Bob Sullivan September 04, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Is this guy serious? Here's what happened: A tropical Storm ripped through the north east, and all the power lines, cable lines, phone lines (get it, lots of LINES) were ripped down by big, heavy trees. First, trees need to be safely removed. Then, lines and poles need to be assessed. Crews are humans with dangerous jobs, so they cannot work more hours in a day than their UNIONS allow. The companies with these LINES all over the state can only staff so many people to be ready for an event that happens maybe every 25-50 years or so. Other states usually have help on the way, but the devastation went much farther than just one state. Does this clear it up for ya? New legislation won't help, in case your wondering.
Nunya Zness October 09, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Everyone knows the best solution is to bury the lines underground. Fewer outages, no need to butcher the trees, better sightlines (so higher property values). But it costs the utility companies $$ so they only put lines underground in the rich (entitled) areas like Westport. Why bother spending money up here, where we put up with being treated like second class citizens?

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